Christine Daaé

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Christine Daaé
The Phantom of the Opera character
PhantomOp.jpg
Christine Daaé (Mary Philbin) in the 1925 film The Phantom of the Opera, alongside The Phantom (Lon Chaney).
Created by Gaston Leroux
Portrayed by See "Actresses"
Information
Gender Female
Occupation Singer
Family Madame Valérius (adoptive mother)
Gustave Daaé (father, deceased)
Spouse(s) Viscount Raoul de Chagny
Significant other(s) Erik, the Phantom of the Opera
Nationality Swedish

Christine Daaé is a fictional character and the female protagonist of Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera. She is a young singer with whom the main character Erik, the Phantom of the Opera falls in love.

Character history[edit]

Lifetime[edit]

Christine Daaé was born in a town near Uppsala, Sweden.

Her mother dies when she is six. Raised by her father, they are travelling to fairs where he plays the violin and she sings. They are discovered at one of these fairs by Professor Valérius, who takes them to Gothenburg and then to Paris, providing for Christine's education.

Christine is extremely close to her father, who tells her Scandinavian fairy-tales; a tale of the "Angel of Music" is her favourite. Christine enters the Paris Conservatoire and trains for four years to become a professional singer to please her father and Mamma Valérius, the bedridden wife of the late Professor. However, by the end of the four years, she has lost all passion for singing.

When Christine arrives at the Opera Garnier, she is described as 'sounding like a rusty hinge', but one person finds the beauty hidden in her tone. When Erik begins to tutor her, he tells her that he is the "Angel of Music" of whom her father had spoken (Erik tells her this because he has fallen in love with her). She believes him, and he inspires her soul back into her voice. Christine debuts at a gala at the opera, after the singer Carlotta falls ill and she is asked to take her place. Christine's singing is described as "seraphic".

Christine becomes torn between her loyalty for her mentor Erik, and her love for her childhood friend Viscount Raoul de Chagny.

In the Lofficier translation of the novel, it is stated that Christine is 15 years old. However, this is a mistranslation of a passage which says her heart was 'as pure as that of a 15 year old.' The evidence of Christine's childhood friendship with Raoul, and her studies at the Paris Conservatoire, put her age at 20.

Father's name[edit]

Christine has a father who loved her very much. In the Sarah Brightman music video version of "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again", his name is revealed to be "Charles". In the Andrew Lloyd Webber version of the story, his name is "Gustave"; in the novel Christine refers to him as "Daddy Daaé".

Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical The Phantom of the Opera[edit]

The Phantom of the Opera[edit]

See: The Phantom of the Opera (1986 musical)

Christine Daaé, a chorus girl, becomes the object of obsession, passion, and love for the mysterious Phantom of the Opera, who becomes her mentor. With his help, she is chosen to replace the company's prima donna. When she falls in love with her childhood sweetheart, Raoul, the Phantom kidnaps Christine in a jealous rage, and drags her down to his lair. She is forced to choose between the Phantom and Raoul, but her compassion for the Phantom moves him to free them both and allow them to flee.

2004 Film

Although this character mainly follows the plot of the musical, her age is altered to that of a teenager. Her gravemark says that she was born in 1854, and at the beginning the movie shows that the movie takes place in 1870, so that makes her 15 or 16 years old.

Basis[edit]

Several researchers claim the character Christine Daaé was based upon the real-life Swedish-born opera star Christina Nilsson, also known as Kristina Nilsson or Christine Nilsson.[1][2][3][4][5] This claim is unverified by any official source, but it is supported by several biographical similarities between Nilsson and Daaé. The most obvious is that Nilsson, like Daaé, was born in Sweden and trained in Paris.

Actresses[edit]

The first actress to portray Christine Daaé was Aud Egede-Nissen in the 1916 German silent version by Ernst Matray, Das Gespenst im Opernhaus or Das Phantom der Oper, also starring Nils Olaf Chrisander.

  • Jane Seymour played Christine in the 1983 TV movie version.
  • Christina Collier played her in Ken Hill's camp-classical musical version in 1984.
  • Patti Cohenour debuted the role in the 1986 Broadway Production alongside Sarah Brightman. Patti was the first American Christine Daaé. Patti Cohenour went on to reprise the role for the First Canadian National Tour.
  • Rebecca Caine debuted the role in the Canadian production (1989) and featured on the Canadian Cast album.
  • Claudia Cota (es) played her twice in the Phantom of the Opera (musical 2000) by Morris Gilbert in Mexico and Player her on Phantom of the Opera (musical 2009) in Argentina by Harold Prince.
  • Gina Beck previously played the role in London.
  • Marni Raab [8] played Christine on Broadway, 3rd National Tour, and in the original World Tour company.
  • Katie Hall played the role in the new UK tour, after having been understudy and alternate in the London production.
  • Mary Michael Patterson played Christine in the broadway production of <The Phantom of the Opera> - 2014
  • Julia Udine is currently playing Christine in the North American tour of the broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera - 2014

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jussi Björling Museum: Four Great Nordic Singers
  2. ^ NYSL Library Notes: Status: In Cataloging (1 October 2008)
  3. ^ Linton, Elizabeth Lynn. The Rebel of the Family p. 362, ISBN 1-55111-293-0
  4. ^ Hollingsworth, Amy Gifts of Passage: What the Dying Tell Us with the Gifts They Leave Behind p. 38, ISBN 0-8499-1920-7
  5. ^ Eriksson, Lill. Förtrollad av Fantomen för snart 100:e gången (Swedish) Eventnews.se
  6. ^ http://www.oregonlive.com/performance/index.ssf/2010/10/janet_chvatal_comes_home_with.html
  7. ^ Program book for the Vienna Production of Phantom of the Opera (November, 1990 / 2. Publication October, 1991) Programmbuch zur Aufführung des Musicals Das Phantom der Oper
  8. ^ Broadway.com press release

External links[edit]